Olinda Ferny Creek Football Club hosted Pakenham for their round 3 clash in the senior men’s competition with a chance to go 2-1 up and set their season up well after a tough loss in round one. Thanks to last year’s shortened fixture, the Bloods faced the unusual predicament of having not played the Lions in over two years. A prediction of a fast ‘straight-line’ style of play from Pakenham proved accurate as the Lions certainly adopted this method in the first quarter. Assisted by numerous slipped tackles and double touches from their opposition, Pakenham leaped out of the blocks and piled on the goals in quick succession, kicking 7-3-45 in the opening term. Olinda had their chances with 7 scoring shots but only managed the one goal to quarter time.
The second quarter was a different story. Olinda’s backs managed to steady Pakenham’s flow of scoring with some rock solid defending, led by Daniel Toma and Matt Scharenberg. The Bloods also managed 6 majors themselves, as the forwards were working their way into the game, quickly cutting the deficit to 3 points at half-time. The back & forth trend continued into the third quarter, as once again, Pakenham gained momentum and slotted 5 goals for the term (including one on the siren) to Olinda’s none. Not for the first time this year, the Bloods were forced to try and claw their way back in the last quarter, trailing by 32 points at the final change.
Just as in both their second practice match against Mooroolbark and in round one against Woori Yallock, Olinda’s fourth quarter footy was a spectacle to watch. The offensive ball movement out of the backline was sensational. Midfielders were finding space and playing on quickly. Forwards were taking contested marks and competing at ground level, and the team was kicking goals. A lucky bounce from a long Nick Keegan bomb gave him his fourth goal and the Bloods some hope that it might be their day to pull off a remarkable comeback. But it was all too late as the siren intervened with Olinda one point short. It was another inspiring effort but yet another chance gone begging. The final score read Pakenham 13-12-90 over Olinda’s 12-17-89; two losses by a combined 8-points for the Bloods.
In a more positive result for the club, Olinda’s senior women’s side continued their hot streak of success with a well fought out win over Pakenham. This followed a mere four-day break after an Anzac Day win, leaving many players battered and bruised but still determined to add to their winning tally. The Lions made the Bloods work hard from the start, but Olinda held strong and with a 13-point quarter time lead it looked like they’d only extend the margin.
Pakenham fought back making the second quarter an even contest. Then in the final minutes the Lions kicked three on the trot from centre clearances to cut Olinda’s lead to 8-points by half-time. The message at the long break was to take the game on and be creative with the ball. Olinda did exactly that in the second half, showing poise and class in response to Pakenham’s first half challenge. Claire Hyett was leading the way with contested packs, Chelsea Wilson was providing run and dash through the middle, Casey Seymour was reliable down back as usual, and the Bloods were overall clicking throughout the second half. Olinda did not concede a goal after half-time and ultimately came out 30-point victors at the final siren. It was an impressive display of women’s footy; the final score reading Olinda 9-6-60 over Pakenham 4-6-30.